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Building new age manufacturing plants

S.C. Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C shares insights on how the company is playing a role in the Make in India initiative.

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Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Make in India, S.C. Dixit, Executive Director, Shapoorji Pallonji E&C, Sterlite Technologies, Bridgestone Tyre, Haier Appliances, Sterile Manufacturing Facility for Hospira, Canpack’s Glass Bottle Manufacturing Plant, Goodrich Aerospace Services’ Manufacturing Facility, Skoda Auto India’s Automobile Plant, General Motors’ Automobile Plant

What role has Shapoorji Pallonji played in the setting up of manufacturing plants in India? How are you partnering with the Government on its “Make in India” initiatives?
The Indian manufacturing sector, one of the largest in the world, has consistently been served by Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Construction (SP E&C) through its construction services. From Steel Plants to Automobile Plants, Cement Plants to Paper Mills, Thermal Power Plants to Oil Refineries and Petrochemical Complexes, Pharmaceutical Plants to R&D Labs, Manufacturing Facilities for Engineering Goods, Textiles to Home Appliances, Paint factories to Food factories, etc SP E&C has built it. Since the liberalization of the Indian economy, we have built more than 120 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and industrial plants aggregating to a constructed area of 5,000,000 sqm. About 80% of these facilities were built between 2004 – 2019 for a diverse range of manufacturing segments. As a construction partner, SP E&C has been giving a concrete shape to the GoI’s “Make in India” drive, project after project. Our track record in the manufacturing sector is a testimony to our commitment to the “Make in India” programme.


Who are the manufacturers that Shapoorji Pallonji has associated with? Which are the manufacturing hubs where SP has a presence?
SP E&C has successfully established itself as the preferred construction partner for leading manufacturing giants – both Indian and multinational. Our clientele includes Amway, GE, Haier, Perkins, Asian Paints, Suzuki Motors, Ford Motors, Hospira Healthcare, ITC Group, Himatsingka Seide, SAIL, HPCL, SABIC, Volkswagen, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, Tata Motors, JCB, etc. The list covers the who’s who of the Indian manufacturing industry.

SP E&C has built many greenfield facilities as well as brownfield expansions in the key states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, WB, Rajasthan, AP, Telangana, MP, Punjab, Odisha and Bihar.

What are the challenges in industrial plant constructions? How has Shapoorji Pallonji been able to serve its clients across locations for their construction requirements?
Firstly, each manufacturing facility is uniquely designed around the manufacturing process for the product being manufactured. We study the manufacturer’s process flow and equipment layout and also understand the client’s needs and priorities before we start planning and scheduling for the construction process.

Further, an industrial plant construction in general requires parallel working on multiple workfronts through deployment of dedicated resources to meet the overall timelines. Generally, there is very little scope for repetition of resources from one unit to the other as the program does not permit sequential work. Sometimes, the resources need to be mobilized and deployed for very short durations before they are demobilized. Such resources include experienced supervisory and managerial personnel, plant and machinery, skilled workmen, formwork, specialist subcontractors, etc. Many specialist subcontractors are required to deliver the complete facility. The work programs of such specialist agencies need to be closely coordinated with the overall master construction program of the facility.

SP E&C’s service delivery network is spread across India and it has constructed many manufacturing facilities for its clients at multiple locations to meet their expansion needs. The empowered teams within our regional offices are authorised to take decisions to mobilise and maintain the resources as may be required for the projects delivery. In addition, the Head Office in Mumbai is receptive to the customer needs and supports the regional efforts from time to time as may be necessary. The systems and processes practised by us ensure that procurement and delivery are managed seamlessly within the organisation.


What kind of facilities within an industrial plant has SP built? And, typically, what scope of services do you offer to your clients?

We offer end-to-end construction solutions and cover a wide scope of works for manufacturing facilities that includes design and detailed engineering, site development, civil, structural steel and finishing works for buildings and manufacturing facilities, MEP works, utility infrastructure, hardstands, etc.

The facilities generally comprise of Production Buildings, Workshops, Equipment Foundations, Warehouses, Utilities & Piperacks, Site Infrastructure, Ancillary Buildings, Administrative Offices, R&D Laboratories, etc. While each client has a unique manufacturing process flow and process design, SP E&C works on the building facility to suit the manufacturer’s process and equipment layout.

From a construction standpoint, all industrial plants typically involve large volume outputs of built-up areas, concreting works, structural steel fabrication and erection works, roofing and cladding, industrial floorings, MEP works, etc. For the larger plants, the land area under development usually ranges anywhere from 500 acres to even 1,000 acres. Such outputs require the construction contractor to ensure large-scale resources mobilisation, mechanized methods of construction, and exemplary construction project management skills to meet the client expectations on construction safety, quality, timelines and not to forget, statutory and environmental compliances.

How has construction technology evolved in industrial plants construction?
In the earlier days, the construction industry depended heavily on manual labour for RCC construction and structural steel fabrication and erection. There was inadequate mechanization of the construction process. This led to poor productivity and also risks of injury to the workmen. This made complying to schedule and safety requirements a challenge.

However, in the recent times, Pre-engineered buildings have been used on a number of industrial plant construction projects and is an established method of construction that enables off-site fabrication and manufacture of the building components such as columns, beams, rafters, purlins, etc. The manufactured elements are then transported to the construction site and the components assembled together at site as per the building configuration. This approach allows fast-tracking of the construction schedule thus allowing early or timely commissioning of the industrial plant. However, based on the design requirements, on-site fabrication and erection of structural steel is also necessary for some plants. SP E&C specializes in both. We customize the construction approach based on client and design requirements and adopt the most suitable methodology. Our construction methods for RCC construction are now highly mechanized.

For utility infrastructure works, we are using precast service ducts, drains and manholes and also precast wall panels for construction of boundary walls, In addition, we are using on-site standing seam profiling machines for roofing and cladding sheets. This ensures roof installations with continuous panels without joints.

For Mercedes Benz’s Warehouse & Multi-Level Car Park at Chakan near Pune, Maharashtra (2016), we used structural steel and precast concrete elements to meet the user requirements of loading and span.

We have been utilizing BIM (Building Information Modeling), a 3D model-based process for improving visualization, facilitating constructability reviews, providing a multi-dimensional planning and monitoring mechanism, and bringing all key stakeholders on a common platform, for our projects. It has helped us in cost reduction over project lifecycle and improved multidisciplinary collaboration during execution.

SP E&C has begun incorporating new technologies into its projects, across all project phases like, design, preconstruction, construction, and operations and management. In the construction phase, on-site execution, team collaboration, and back-office integration are being reimagined with the use of such digital solutions.

• Digital Tools that support On-site execution – To enhance field productivity, safety monitoring and quality control.
• Digital Tools that support Collaboration – For Design Management, Contract Management, Performance Management, Document Management
• Digital Tools that support Back-office integration – Examples include Project monitoring enabled by drones and the Internet of Things; Predictive Analytics


W.r.t construction, how would you describe the sourcing practices and preferences of your clients in the industrial sector?
Different clients have different approaches to sourcing. They employ a variety of project delivery models and contract models for the construction of their industrial plants.

SP E&C’s is well versed with various project delivery systems, including Designbuild, General Contracting and Conventional Contracting. We are flexible and actively engage with each one of our clients to arrive at the best procurement and project delivery strategy for their projects.

Some of the facilities delivered by SP E&C on DesignBuild basis include:-
• Suzuki Motor Gujarat’s Automobile Plant (B) at Hansalpur, Gujarat (2018). The designbuild approach helped us achieve a seamless project delivery for our clients.
• Amway India’s Manufacturing Facility at Madurai, Tamil Nadu (2015). This facility that produces beauty products and nutrition supplements included Clean Rooms.
• Electric Locomotive Plant for GE at Marhowra, Bihar (2019)
• Canpack’s Glass Bottle Manufacturing Plant, at Aurangabad, Maharashtra (2013)
• Goodrich Aerospace Services’ Manufacturing Facility near Whitefield, Bengaluru (2008)
• Skoda Auto India’s Automobile Plant at Aurangabad, Maharashtra (2004-2009 in phases) wherein we used pre-engineered buildings to expedite the project delivery.
• General Motors’ Automobile Plant at Talegaon near Pune, Maharashtra (2008), we designed and built the Paint Shop using precast columns, beams and slabs.

SP E&C has thus used the DesignBuild approach to offer customised and innovative construction solutions to fulfil the client expectations.

What Quality management practices do you adopt on your construction projects? How do you ensure safety in your construction operations? What challenges do you generally face?
SP E&C’s top management is firmly committed to the cause of safety and provides support with finance and other resources. SP E&C employs trained engineers and supervisors and skilled workmen on its industrial plant constructions. We follow the highest standards of Health, Safety, Security and Environment on our construction projects. SP E&C has built a strong safety culture amongst its staff, subcontractors and workmen. Our emphasis on adopting advanced construction technologies and mechanized methods of construction also result in lesser dependence on manpower, improved productivity of resources and higher safety of our construction operations. In addition, strict adherence to documented procedures, adequate planning for resources and frequent monitoring during construction help us achieve acceptable construction quality.

Our focus on safety, quality and statutory compliances on our construction projects has been very well recognized by the manufacturing industry and the company has won many awards for its performance. This also ensures that our clients focus on the critical plant commissioning activities and manufacturing readiness instead of construction.

SP E&C’s projects have received multiple awards for its HSSE performance from its esteemed clients, the National Safety Council of India and the Construction Industry Development Council.

Is there any manufacturing segment wherein SP E&C has built a domain expertise? Or any achievements that you are particularly proud of?
Our domain expertise in the automobile plant construction space and our reliability as a construction partner has been specially recognized by the automobile industry. Till date, SP E&C has built 25 Greenfield Automobile Plants at 15 different locations in India for Indian and global auto majors viz., Suzuki Motors, Ford, Skoda, Volkswagen, GM, Tata Motors, M&M, Volvo, etc. Some of our clients such as Mercedes Benz, Tata Motors, M&M and JCB have repeatedly sought our services for their expansion needs.

Besides Automobile Plants, SP E&C has demonstrated its capabilities for a spectrum of manufacturing, industrial segments as can be seen from this list :-  
• Home Appliances Factory for Haier Appliances at Pune (2018)
• Multimodal Manufacturing Facility for GE at Pune (2014)
• Paper Board Machine Complex for TNPL at Tiruchirappalli (2016)
• Diesel Engine Facility for Perkins at Aurangabad (2016)
• Paints Factory for Asian Paints near Pune (2014)
• Research & Technology Campus for SABIC in Bengaluru (2013)
• 500 MW Thermal Power Plant for Bhavnagar Energy near Bhavnagar (2016)
• Sterile Manufacturing Facility for Hospira at Visakhapatnam (2014)
• Thermal Power Plant for Lanco Power at Chhattisgarh (2010)
• Paper Mill for ITC at Bhadrachalam (2013)
• Cement Plant for ABG Cement at Kutch (2013)
• Biscuit Factory for Parle at Bengaluru (2000)
• DFC Unit for HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd. at Bathinda, Punjab (Ongoing)
• Warehouse for Flipkart at Nadia, West Bengal (Ongoing)

The GoI has recently announced the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative. What role do you see for SP in the construction of industrial and manufacturing plants of the new age?
The Government of India, over the last few years, has implemented numerous legislative and procedural reforms. India’s now stands at #63 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings 2020, up from #142 in 2014. India has the added attraction of a large domestic market along with prospects of a manufacturing export hub.

As businesses worldwide gear up for the “new normal” post COVID-19, India has been steadfastly and proactively cementing its position as a resilient economy with swift action-oriented decision-making. The GoI has offered very attractive corporate income tax rate for new manufacturing investments. Both central and state governments are gearing up to stimulate the economy and attract investments across sectors. With the “Make in India” initiative, the Government of India aims to increase the share of the manufacturing sector in India’s GDP and develop India into a hub for manufacturing. SP E&C wholeheartedly supports GoI’s “Make in India” drive and “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” and offers its expertise and impeccable construction services to manufacturers across industry segments. 

SP E&C continues to serve its esteemed Indian and multinational clients and execute challenging manufacturing facilities construction projects, the most recent ones being Optical Fiber Manufacturing Facility for Sterlite Technologies at Aurangabad and Bridgestone Tyre Factory near Pune in Maharashtra.

SP E&C is experimenting with new materials, building systems and methods of construction along with emerging project management trends that will change the way large projects will be delivered. Going forward, we will continue to build on our domain expertise by focusing on design, technology, project management and customer satisfaction. We, at SP E&C, are geared up to ensure seamless project deliveries for the manufacturing facilities of the new age.

We work alongside India’s leading Design Consultants and have the crucial support of our specialist subcontractors on our challenging industrial plant construction projects. Our biggest asset is our workforce that is experienced and capable of meeting the exacting standards of industrial plant constructions.

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